Bottled Water Company Facing Damages Trial Over Liver Failure Outbreak, Watch Online via CVN

Posted by David Siegel on Jan 30, 2024 2:11:32 PM

Kemp OPenings

CVN screenshot of plaintiff attorney Will Kemp delivering his opening statement

Las Vegas, NV - A Nevada state court jury heard opening statements Thursday in a lawsuit to determine damages for five plaintiffs who suffered acute liver failure due to drinking “Real Water” brand alkaline water, and the trial is being webcast gavel-to-gavel by Courtroom View Network.

The five plaintiffs, one of whom required a liver transplant, trace their illness to drinking Real Water, a bottled beverage touted as having health benefits but that was contaminated with hydrazine - a chemical found in rocket fuel. Real Water ceased operations after regulators pulled the alkalized water product from store shelves in 2021.

Real Water admits liability for the plaintiffs in the current case, though their attorney Mark Love asked jurors during opening statements not to award punitive damages, arguing bottled water companies don’t generally test for hydrazine and that Real Water is taking appropriate responsibility by agreeing to a reasonable award of compensatory damages.


Plaintiff attorney Will Kemp asked jurors to hold Real Water and co-defendant distributor Terrible Herbst equally responsible for his clients injuries, and that both failed to act with sufficient urgency in response to consumer complaints that Real Water was making customers ill. Terrible Herst’s attorney argued they immediately removed Real Water after regulators orders it pulled from shelves.

Another Las Vegas jury last October awarded a $228 million verdict in a similar case. That award consisted of roughly $28 million in compensatory and $200 million in punitive damages.

The current trial before Judge Joanna Kishner is expected to run through mid-February.

The case is captioned Myles Hundwardsen, et al. v., Inc., et al., case number A-21-831543-B in Nevada’s Eight Judicial District Court in Clark County.

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Topics: Nevada